have you had a look at Ricardian Contracts?
I think that you’ll find the answers there — I didn’t unpack them in the article because it was already brutally long, but it all boils down to Ricardian contracts in the end.
Basically the “what does this number really represent?” question almost certainly terminates in a plain English legal document, the hash of which is stored in the blockchain in the smart contract which implements the legal agreement. It’s the documentation — and legal enforceability — of the smart contract code.
Have a look, and let me know if that answers your question.